Beating cancer

Beating Cancer Plan: Restricting insurers’ ability to price premiums based on risks would be a bad result for all consumers


Insurance Europe has published its response to a study conducted by a research institute, Nivel, on the equitable access to financial services for cancer survivors. The study — which was commissioned by the European Commission and is expected to be finalised in February 2022 — will form the basis for the Commission’s next steps towards developing a code of conduct under its February 2021 Beating Cancer Plan.

Insurance Europe highlighted that the Commission had not properly defined an issue to investigate, as it remains unclear the extent to which cancer survivors are unable to secure individual life insurance in support of a private mortgage.

Insurance Europe explained the importance of continuing to permit insurers to use accepted risk-based underwriting principles, whereby relevant risk factors are considered when determining the price and benefits offered by an insurance product. Any new rules that would restrict insurers’ ability to price premiums based on the risk a potential policyholder poses would have a negative effect on the availability, price, choice and benefits of insurance products for all consumers. If price is decoupled from risks, some consumers will pay too much for their premiums relative to the risk they bring to the insurer, while others will pay too little. The need for continued flexibility to permit markets to reflect local needs and conditions is also very important.

Insurance Europe continues to support further dialogue between the sector and relevant stakeholders to gain a better understanding of any concerns relating to access to financial services.